Questions for former Religious Followers(Or Atheists in general)

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I know its called faith, but it needs more proof. Religion these days have no modern proof that is concrete enough. Of course I treat religion like I would treat someone trying to get me to invest in something or to believe in a fact.

Shadowstar38:

1) How did you deal with it? Was it easy for you to accept the new world view?

2)What were your moral values like afterwards? Did you still find yourself holding the same views in other areas.

And to any atheist, honestly, how do you not give into nihilism? The thought that there might not be anything after this might be the most fuck up part of this whole thing.

1) I never were a strong believer to begin with so I guess it wasn't that hard to deal with. The thing that always bother me the most I guess is all the other believers, people who are around my age or older, adults who supposable should know better but still believe despite the complete lack of evidence.

2) Just like my belief system my moral perspective have evolved over time, so it's hard to tell how much my non-belief have really affected me. I would probably say it's more about how religion now don't affect my consciousness, that I'm now forced to look at the world as it really is.

3)Nihilism I would say doesn't make sense at all, I mean do nihilist believe in nihilism? Or maybe I've missed something. Anyway, I guess you have to ask yourself if things have meaning because the universe/god/buddha/whatever have some sort of hidden meaning-meter running in the background, giving each and everything different values of meaning, or if it's only about what you make of it?

Family, music, the feeling of sudden insight, love, laughter, sorrow, the sound of raindrops on a roof, the smell of freshly baked cookies, the beauty of a woman and so on, it's still there if you want it to regardless of your belief system. And just because it one day won't be there doesn't make it less "meaningful", if anything it gives it meaning because it's finite, because it only happens once.

...or you could just not give a fuck.


;D

Shadowstar38:

1) How did you deal with it? Was it easy for you to accept the new world view?

For me it was easy. I never was very religious, though my mum often took us. I just kind of grew out of wishy-washy Christianity into agnostic-atheism. Though I admit there may be a God, I don't see why there has to be one, nor can I see any substantial evidence for one, so I'll presume there isn't one.

2)What were your moral values like afterwards? Did you still find yourself holding the same views in other areas.

Ah, the big question. Well, I used to be rather more anti-gay and abortion than I am now. Other than that kind of thing, I didn't change much. Jesus was, after all, a pretty cool guy, especially from that time.

And to any atheist, honestly, how do you not give into nihilism? The thought that there might not be anything after this might be the most fuck up part of this whole thing.

So there may not be life after death; I never was too worried about that. But, remember that we can achieve an immortality of kind. Its likely that Neil Armstrong, Churchill, Einstein, Faraday, and yes, even Hitler, will be remembered in some way for as long as humanity exists. If some memory of you, even a passed down story that became muddled through the generation, remain, then you are not truly dead :)

Now, I've got a couple links here that you may appreciate. Its worth checking them all out:

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/RationalWiki_Atheism_FAQ_for_the_Newly_Deconverted
http://humanism.org.uk/humanism/are-you-a-humanist/

When I read this forum I'm made aware of the fact that the world is not the echo chamber that I apparently live in. I have always been an atheist and if anybody in my extended family isn't, they haven't made a big deal out of it. So I can't really help with the first question.

But I don't really see anything wrong with believing that there is no (greater) reason for us to be here. That we have to make a reason ourselves. That part of nihilism I get, but I think that all humans have a basic moral code (evolutionary psychology?). The non-religious have to either make up their own moral code or read the stuff clever people have written.

I didn't have to. Yes.
I decided I was an atheist before I was 10. I don't remember the exact age. Anyway, yes.
Life has no preset meaning. No one chose us. Why is that depressing? We have the power to try to be whatever we want to.

I think you're going at this entirely the wrong way. You shouldn't see it as 'accepting a new world view', you're shedding your shell that was protecting you from the world and now you're naked as the day you were born. Now begins the process of creating a new shell for yourself. This isn't easy or quick. You need to question everything you thought was right or wrong and come to your own conclusions, whatever they may be.

Hedonist:
I think you're going at this entirely the wrong way. You shouldn't see it as 'accepting a new world view', you're shedding your shell that was protecting you from the world and now you're naked as the day you were born. Now begins the process of creating a new shell for yourself. This isn't easy or quick. You need to question everything you thought was right or wrong and come to your own conclusions, whatever they may be.

You're never naked. When you get rid of a shell a new one always replaces it. I don't know if this process has an end, but it's certainly been my experience.

Shadowstar38:

1) How did you deal with it? Was it easy for you to accept the new world view?

2)What were your moral values like afterwards? Did you still find yourself holding the same views in other areas.

And to any atheist, honestly, how do you not give into nihilism? The thought that there might not be anything after this might be the most fuck up part of this whole thing.

1:
i don't remember when became an atheist.
i know when i was young i would prey a tiny bit and once i a make promises to god on occasion. i would have remembered struggling with the change of views if it deeply mattered to me; so it was not a big part of my life to began with.

2:
religion was not an influence on my morals. society and my up-bring was. so i not qualified to answer this from personal experiences. but i do know religion is need needed to have morals so i doubt your's will change

"And to any atheist, honestly, how do you not give into nihilism?"

sure my life has no meaning when you look at it from the perceptive long after i die mostly nothing i do will be remembered. and when looked at from the perceptive of the whole universe the me and the rest of the human race has no meaning as well. but i don't see life that way. the way i see it is my life is important to me and there are people who care about me. what more do i need in order to feel my me life has meaning?

"The thought that there might not be anything after this might be the most fuck up part of this whole thing"

that is what makes life special. you have a finite amount of time to do everything you love to do and be with other you care about. the limited time is what makes those happy and meaningful moments so much more valuable.

if there are any grammar problems i will correct when i have the time to correct it
-edit-
while typing the last part it reminded me of the end of this video(watch the whole thing)

Shadowstar38:
So, here I am now. Lost and incredibly unsure of what I'm suppose to believe. It hasn't been an enlightening experience. Mostly just a completely depressing one. So here are my questions for those he might have gone through something similar.

1) How did you deal with it? Was it easy for you to accept the new world view?
2)What were your moral values like afterwards? Did you still find yourself holding the same views in other areas.

And to any atheist, honestly, how do you not give into nihilism? The thought that there might not be anything after this might be the most fuck up part of this whole thing.

Well, that there's no divine plan which tightly controls what happens to you, can also mean that you give purpose to your own life.

What's important in your life? You tell me, you're in charge of that. ;-)

Like someone told me at the time I was going through that same phase after I'd had it with religion; "We're here anyway. Might as well do something usefull."

Also, it helps to realise you didn't really lose any purpose. Whatever purpose you believed in when you were religious, was a delusion. There was no purpose in that either, so the situation can only improve from that point on.


As for values, the same story applies really. You don't *have* to change them, not if you like them so far. Neither Christianity nor religion as a whole has a monopoly on any value, so whatever you find is a good act, should be retained in your values. Evil acts which you must commit because of your religion (I was supposed to harbour a hatred against homosexuals for instance), you no longer need to either do evil, or defend to yourself why you choose not to.

It's liberating really. You can do good without a religious pattern of expections stopping you from that.


That's it for me anyway, but I want to treat a concept I've seen in action in some others who gave up being religious, since it seems to work for them. They basically do the same I did, but rather than tossing out everything related to Christianity, they instead cling to the figure of Jesus, except they no longer treat him like a god who demands worship according to the full content of the bible, but more like a good example, like a philosopher who had cool things to say.

Mind you though, trying too hard to do that will drive you crazy. What's described about Jesus in the bible is impossible to uphold. Be wary of not following a metaphor like not thinking greedily, because trying to thought-police yourself is very unhealthy. Know someone who tried that, later he came back with "Either Jesus was wrong there, or it's just a metaphor". It's not something you can say about a god, but it's something you can say about a person who you think sets a good example. That's how that approach helps.

On the other hand, something like striving to accepting all people is a very good example, one you don't need to be religious to follow.

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